This was a tough weekend but I am grateful for a lot of things. Rest in peace, I love you, a bushel and a peck. Read More.
I recently figured it out so I thought I’d share: How To Fall In Love
hey i am a published author now it’s very exciting :) visit the site to read a non-blurry version :)
today marks 1 full year of living in new york city, a year that has changed me in ways i did not and could not have anticipated, good, bad, and “i don’t know yet or ever.” this year has gone by so quickly that it’s almost hard to comprehend at all.
this morning i picked up all my developed film, ten rolls from the last year. at the same time that the year has disappeared, i’m suddenly hit with an overwhelming wealth of documentation — road trip signage, best friends & breakfast, people i have loved, and things i forgot completely.
life has been really good to me and i have a lot of positive things in my life. but i also have a lot of work to do. i’m realizing things about myself that a lot of people who love me have already known. i’m realizing things that i have been leaking out the sides onto the internet and through the bits and pieces that i make, art or whatever.
so now i have all these emotions and memories and photos. are they art? does that matter? do i put them on facebook and tag my friends? do i edit and juxtapose and put them to paper? is this past year a zine? is this past year a postcard series? will the life i’m living and the lessons i learned still matter if i don’t make something out of it? are the feelings still valid if i don’t share them? can i even share everything? will i be too vulnerable? is it fair to air out the old feelings when everyone is so diligently moving on in their own directions? is it fair to relive past lives when i can only move forward?
i’ve spent the last few months just trying to figure out what everything means for me. i’ve regretted “being an ‘artist,’” i have wished that i didn’t always have to “make things out of things,” i have wished that i could just work and eat and sleep and repeat. but that’s just not how i function.
the truth is what i guess i have always known. life is what you make of it. sometimes literally, and i explore that a lot. but it can’t always be tangible. not every feeling can be a postcard that i can mail away. some emotions are exactly what they are, and they have to be mine to keep. so i am going to go through all my photos and i will share some when i figure it all out.
I’m looking for my first studio space and it’s pretty overwhelming. So I decided to do what I do best, which is talk to people and ask them a lot of questions. Today I visited the Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio of illustrator Nick Iluzada, whose name I will link repeatedly.
Nick’s work is bright and cheerful with a whole lot of movement. Sort of like him, basically. He’s done editorial work for like The New York Times and The Atlantic, releases his own prints and zines, and does lots of collaborative projects too. He is in my 2013 weekly planner! He is a nice guy! He has a tumblr!
As a freelancer, he needs to keep busy and focused, but he seems pretty good at both of those things. His shared studio space is full of physical resources (all the paper! risograph printer! a million comics!) as well as people resources (I met cartoonist & illustrator Nick Sumida too!) and tons of good stuff to look at.
I guess a good way to develop your work and explore new ideas is to work with other people, in a space that allows for experimentation, that isn’t just your bedroom. If anyone else around NYC has a cool studio space to check out, let me know!
Anonymous asked: Why are you so full of yourself?
I am pretty self-aware and self-conscious (duh that’s sort of my whole “thing”), I don’t think people who know me would say this and mean it. People who know me know that I, like most people, have to work for confidence and work for that same fullness that you portray as negative. Here’s the secret: Having confidence is great! Who else should I be full of if not myself?
Tumblr spends a lot of time pretending to be the perfect person, we are THE MOST POLITICALLY CORRECT and THE MOST COOL and maybe THE EDGIEST and THE CLEVEREST but truthfully this is a blog and I am 1 guy and you know, I am whatever I am and this blog sometimes reflects that and sometimes doesn’t. It’s personal because it’s honest, but it’s not the full story because 1. I’m writing it selectively and 2. I don’t know what the full story is anyway.
Usually I ignore this sort of anonymous message, but lately all I want to do is respond openly and share because I simply don’t mind being recognized for things I work for, and sometimes confidence is one of those things. Thank you.
Anonymous asked: Hi Adam, I have a question for you. What is the best place to get a pizza slice in New York. I'm going for my first time in March :) Also, if you wouldn't mind recommending a few things you think I should check out to really captivate the New York experience. I would really appreciate it! If you're too busy, that's fine too. I understand. Have a lovely day. X
Nobody ever asks me questions about life in New York, which I am usually pretty grateful for because I don’t really know how to answer them. I’ve been here for 8 months and it feels like 1, somehow. In New York years I was born tomorrow or next week, basically. The best place to get a pizza slice is probably anywhere.
I like Vinnie’s because there are a lot of vegan options so anybody can eat it and it’s like a fifteen minute walk from my apartment. But there’s dollar pizza everywhere and it’s pretty good for a dollar. There’s free pizza with drink purchase at a lot of bars. FREE! Some people swear by Artichoke but the other day I was right near there and there was an entire slice facedown on the sidewalk and I prefer to internalize that as “someone hated their pizza so much that they threw it on the floor.” Pizza in New York is like pizza in any other city. When it’s awesome, it’s awesome. When it’s shitty, it’s still kind of awesome. People will tell you that the pizza here is just better. I am not that guy. I don’t know the fucking difference. The best pizza is wherever you stop at your hungriest, when you only have 3 dollars in your pocket, and you’re with a friend.
Same goes for basically everything in this city. I don’t know how to help you captivate the New York experience because I can’t curate your experience I can only speak to my own. Life doesn’t happen in a plan or on a schedule. A good way to do it might be to plan 1 big thing that matters to you (shopping, a museum, a landmark, etc) in the morning and evening and let your food choices happen by accident. Have a random cup of coffee wherever you are at. It will probably be good enough. Have lunch from a cart or just eat a pretzel for lunch. It’s not going to be the best pretzel in the world but you will be in New York City eating a soft pretzel, that is your postcard moment.
All that being said, my favorite donut in New York is Peter Pan in Greenpoint. I love Prosperity Dumpling in Chinatown because it is dirt cheap and so good. I like brunch at Saxon + Parole or Habitat (both have bloody mary bars), and I really, really like The Bagel Store. Oh, and back to pizza, Slice Harvester might have your back.
909miles said: The postcard ::is:: just a self-promotion piece you probably just had lying around and I guess then the message to me is “I don’t care if you’re a fan, this is all you get.”
All it’s promoting is “hey this is a surprise card and it is just for you.” And it does LITERALLY say that on the back. Read the LITERAL fine print! That is what “week in scraps” is. It’s a message and a story and it’s only as important as you say it is. I am sad that you don’t think it’s worth twenty cents but I also can’t care. This reply isn’t even for you and everyone knows that because it’s public and they can read it too.
I am sorry my card was an inconvenience to you. I hate driving and get jumpy in cars. I also know the post office can be frustrating. I am legitimately empathizing with you because since you don’t value the postcard, then all of that was for nothing. As for the postage itself, I don’t know what went wrong. Postcards are 33 cents now, I know because I had to place the old stamp and a penny stamp on it. And an address label. On 100 cards, which I paid to have printed, out of pocket, and sent, as a complete surprise, to people who didn’t know they were coming. Yes, you are one of 100. That’s intrinsically impersonal, but it’s also a lot more personal than being one of a few thousand on tumblr, digesting digital work, isn’t it? It’s a tangible piece of something, it is yours forever, to display, pass along, or throw away. It’s whatever you say it is now.
I am not trying to be a dick, but this dialogue is so useful. This is the whole point. This is what I wrote about right before getting off of tumblr at the end of December. This is the thing I can’t care about anymore. I used to spend my time looking at tons of other work, other people’s lives, tumblr’s own brand of teenage angst, and felt so insecure, felt the need to defend myself either with reason or just because. Not anymore. I am “UNFOLLOWING NEGATIVITY” both online and off, my own, and others’. If I want to be a fucking artist (and I think I might like to be that), I need to stop listening to everyone else and start trusting myself. And it’s hard. IT IS FUCKING HARD because you send someone you literally do not know a free surprise and they hate you for it. But the difference is that this time I don’t feel personally attacked. I feel happy to experience a negative response to some of my newer ideas and tactics, and to be able to dissect and share it in this tiny little internet space.
If anyone else received a card and would like to be removed from my list due to inconvenience, please let me know.
the last 4 days of my life have been probably the most important, ever. i have had a major breakthrough in terms of “my life and what i am doing.” but, actually, i also had a legitimate nervous breakdown.
the internet is truly terrifying. we give and give and give of ourselves, out into a big gaping hole and then we tweet “LOL JK CAN ANYONE HEAR ME PLEASE I NEED YOU TO LIKE THIS PLEASE VALIDATE THIS EMOTION!”
not everyone gets this, because not everyone is this kind of thing. some of us are the right age where we really have grown up on social media. i used to be on message boards and livejournal, then worked my way up through to tumblr. these are really great tools. these are useful if you want them to be. you can save inspiration, you can discover people who are inspiring, and you can kind of make sense of it all.
i needed to absolutely fucking lose my mind to realize that this blog has been, in a lot of ways, my link to the big scary world, full of great people who i know well, but also great people that i only sort of know. and i want to know them better. but you can’t know everybody.
i realize now that i have been an artist this whole time. i have made the tools that i needed to cope with a big scary interconnected network of people (“LIFE”). i thought i was being clever and funny, and the truth is, i am that. i am smart enough. i am funny enough. i am good enough. people like me because it’s obvious to them. but it’s not always obvious to me. that’s why we tweet. that’s why facebook literally asks us how we’re feeling!
what i also realize is that the internet can be terrifying. it breeds insecurity without meaning to. tumblr, like pinterest and instagram and everything else are literally the reason why so many of us are so unsure of ourselves. how could we ever feel content when we subconsciously curate not only our own “mood board,” but have the endless ongoing mood boards of everyone we care about and hundreds we don’t even know? inspiration is an amazing thing, and the internet can inspire in the truest way. we can know people and their work that we would never get to know otherwise. but inspiration is good. aspiration is also somewhat good. subconscious jealousy bred from fear, desire, need/want, lust, or anything else? that’s fucking dangerous.
i have been mostly awake for the last 4 days. i wrote crazy post it notes to myself. i re-learned what a notebook is. i told myself to destroy my art and to understand money as a tool. i learned that my work is my own, and then that it didn’t matter at all, and i literally gave someone the shirt off of my back. i snapped a pen in half so i could try to get some sleep. i forgot to eat. i forgot to not scream at friends in the street in the pouring rain. i picked apart all of my own insecurity about the internet, the world, my friends, my work, and the fact that actually, i am my own kind of crazy.
i am very excited to continue making work. i know now what i have been doing all along, even though you all “got it” already. now that i understand it, i can push it in directions that matter. i will make myself proud instead of just making myself “busy.” an index card is a note to yourself, or a note to someone you love, or it might just be a piece of paper… but you cannot call your mom at 2am and scream “I AM MY OWN EMOJI.” because that is fucking crazy.
i love you all, quiet supporters, inspiration and collaborators, my dearest and closest friends and those just a bit further away than “immediate.” and most importantly of all, i love myself.
as for the 14 minute video of myself crying and the ALL CAPS RANT to go with it that i have saved in my drafts? yeah… that’s not ok.
talk to you soon,
adam jason kurtz, “human being”
p.s. just before i finally crashed, i ordered new golf pencils. can’t wait to show you, when i am ready.
More than anything, this year has been about learning. I honestly feel that this personal growth has manifested itself in every part of me, visible to old friends in daily scenarios, or casual observers of my internet output over the last few years. I am proud and excited and not sure where I’m headed, but I know that I owe a lot to the people around me, both immediately, from a distance, or without their knowledge.
This list is not in order of importance: Alexander Barrett, Nicole Lavelle, Dustin Williams, Bubby Peck, Nathaniel Russell, Paul Octavious & Paul Windle, Chris Day, Matthew Stone, Na Kim, and Christopher Muccioli.
i can’t help but roll my eyes every time i see your photos, all buff and tan with short dark hair, i don’t remember which guy is the one you’re fucking and which are just your party friends because you look and dress the same, casually slinging “mama” and “hunty” around with a wink, like a gay-but-not-that-kind-of-gay “no homo” between you and the guys.
10 Signs That You’re Reading An Article on Thought Catalog
we populate a mostly-visual public social network with immediate trending imagery and then people with power to make decisions see it and use it to market things to us, like azealia banks’ 1 year career or a made-for-remixing sia track that rihanna simply does not have the vocal ability to perform or “lana del rey” (music + image + the physical being itself). it’s not that people have never monitored trends to fabricate cool, it’s just that i don’t think that we, as creators and regurgitators of youth culture (is 24 too old to be included in there) have ever made it quite so fucking easy.
i wish we could go back to the early 2000s when a beautiful angel from heaven named michelle branch wrote or co-wrote her own songs and played instruments and didn’t really wear anything particularly interesting in her music videos and actually most of her music videos were kind of boring except for the goldfish one but it didn’t really matter.
i mean don’t get me wrong i like pop music a lot and i like to be entertained and i like when people who are doing visual work get paid to do it especially on a larger platform like SNL or a ten minute epic music video and there are tons of extremely talented people working behind all of the popstars we know, i guess what i am just saying is that i wish we could be allowed in on the joke like we are with ke$ha, who is actually maybe just the smartest of them all. everyone works hard for their gimmick and she just pretends to be a party girl long enough to get the party started, then she goes home, puts on sweatpants, and eats a pint of ben & jerry’s while doing her banking online.